Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Consumers and Politicians and Taxes

The politicians seems to be very concerned about closing budget gaps all across the country this year. legislatures from Maryland to California are trying to figure out how to get more money to sustain levels of service. It goes to the city level as well, Baltimore City is looking to close a tax revenue shortfall, too.

Sadly, the universal answer seems to be in raising taxes and "fees." 

I hate fees.  We pay a fee with our taxes for garbage collection in Howard County. It used to be included in our taxes until about 15 years ago the county board decided to make it a separate fee.  It was $75 then. The problem with government levied fees? There are few controls on them. The country wants to raise the fee this year from the current $250 to $500 per year. If it was a tax--we could challenge it and even vote on it. Since it is a fee--it can be changed pretty much on a whim.

And the state wants to increase property tax, and gas tax, and alcohol taxes and whatever taxes they can get away with.

Ever wonder who pays those taxes?

I read an article the other day about the giant corporation General Electric. Despite being the fourth largest company in the U.S. and posting a $14 Billion profit, the company paid no taxes.

That is $0.

What a deal!

I sure made a lot less that and amazingly I am paying a lot more than $0 in taxes.

So, let me get this straight. Politicians across the country are pinching consumers and private citizens to pay more taxes--yet the 4th largest corporation in America skates. There has to be a story here somewhere.

Oh, and it gets better. GE is claiming a $3.2 billion refund. Read it here in the Berkshire News.

I need to actually pay something in taxes to get a refund---not pay zero and get additional money.

Politicians are clearly looking in the wrong place for additional money. How many private American's taxes are needed to add up to a $3.2 billion refund? I looked this up--329,301 (with the average individual tax bill in America for the 2009 tax year being $8,157). Check out Tax Stats at a Glance and do the math.

Message to the politicians: Go after the corporations in America who are making a joke of tax laws!  That's where the money is.
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